Contentful is an intelligent CMS that helps you create amazing digital experiences at scale. For teams that want more flexibility in the types of content they can deliver, this platform is a great option.
A key feature of Contentful that makes this possible is the use of APIs. Using their API-first approach, all apps and functions in your tech ecosystem can communicate with one another through API calls. This makes your information transfer quick, sites accessible, and responsive.
In this article, we'll explore some ways that Contentful creates new capabilities for your team to deliver outstanding content experiences.
Headless CMS advantages for content management
As a headless CMS, Contentful offers new ways to create and manage content compared to a traditional, monolithic CMS.
At the root of a headless approach is what we refer to as a 'decoupled' environment. Working in a decoupled environment means that the front-end of your site — the 'head' or presentation layer — is unattached from your back-end. This is possible because the front-end communicates with the rest of your systems via APIs instead of using servers. Instead, headless systems use cloud-based servers.
This style of building means you can easily manage content on the back-end, like updating code, without requiring your front-end presentation to change. In fact, with a headless approach, you can customize multiple iterations of how your content is presented across devices, locations, and user demographics. This allows your team to bypass a lot of the bottlenecks that occur between design and development.
Contentful allows different stakeholders on your team to operate autonomously when changing or adding content. Team members can be easily equipped to test and launch new content experiences without relying on the development team.
Managing content is key in brand projection
Another key advantage of using a headless CMS like Contentful is having control over your brand image. Having the ability to make content cohesive across all devices and customer touch points plays a big role in how people feel about your brand.
With monolithic platforms, there are major dependencies between the front-end and back-end of your site, and a heavy reliance on skilled developers to make any changes to your content. Using a headless approach means there is less of a learning curve for stakeholders on your team to create and publish new content.
Contentful lets you create content blocks that are all accessible from one workspace, ready to be used in multiple instances in your asset ecosystem. This user-friendly interface makes it easy for marketing, content, and design teams to quickly get up to speed and be self-sufficient.
Using APIs to future-proof your business
Contentful is more than a content management system — they're a platform that lets you orchestrate experiences and deliver your content to any digital touchpoint. There are two key components that make this possible: the CDA and CDN.
CDA is the acronym for Content Delivery API. Its purpose is to distribute your content to any device that requires it. Since it operates using API calls, it doesn't matter if the request is made from a desktop browser or a mobile device.
On the other hand, CDN stands for Content Delivery Network. This refers to the network that the system relies on to distribute content. A CDN allows the system to receive data from the nearest node through a global network, prioritizing data exchange between nodes that lie closest together. This prevents data from having to travel thousands of miles (like if you were using a traditional server), causing delays.
Lastly, APIs improve scalability since the system architecture is founded on cloud-based services. Having the system based on the cloud means a high degree of responsiveness is built into how it uses resources in the face of uncertainty.
At Apply Digital, we often use Contentful as the CMS setup for our clients, as they provide brands with better options for data governance and content management. If you would like help implementing a headless CMS, reach out to someone on our team — we're happy to help.